Who thinks this is massively ironic? Just as we’re all enjoying the Olympics and feeling inspired by the awesome athletes a new study has revealed that the UK is the third laziest nation in Europe, with around two thirds of adults failing to take the amount of exercise recommended to stay healthy. To be honest this figure surprised me. Looking around at the general public I’d have thought the number of lazy people would be much higher. I’m constantly amazed at how many people, both adults and (more worryingly) children seem to be overweight; and more amazed by how many of them don’t seem that bothered about it.
Apparently inactivity is now as big a threat to our health as smoking. Modern life means we just don’t need to move around as much as we used to – but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t! Lack of exercise can contribute to some of the most dangerous threats to our health, such as cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes, but many people seem to think those things will never happen to them, making no effort to change their lazy lifestyle until they day they actually keel over with a heart attack – assuming they survive it. The problem is that we all like an easy life, and it’s easier not to exercise than to do it!
Often when I’m trying to persuade people to exercise during a wellness evaluation they come up with excuses as to why they shouldn’t or can’t. Here are some of the most common.
“I don’t like exercise.”
Really? How do you know if you haven’t tried it? The only people who ever say this are those who’ve never exercised regularly. There’s an activity for everyone out there – try a few different ones until you find something you like!
“I don’t have time to exercise.”
Hmm. Do you have time to do any of the following? Watch telly/spend an afternoon browsing the shops/chat to your friends on the phone for an hour/go to the pub/play computer games/bake cakes/get your nails done… you get the picture. You do have time to exercise – if you want to. It’s all about priorities.
“I’m too tired to exercise.”
Then you need to start by getting more sleep. Or maybe you’re just brain tired from work or stress, in which case exercise will re-energise and invigorate you, making you feel less tired.
“I work full time.”
And you don’t get a lunch hour? Then what about going to bed an hour earlier and getting up an hour earlier to exercise.
“I have kids.”
Then get your partner to look after them for half an hour – it won’t kill them. If you don’t have a partner, ask someone else (mum, friend etc) to watch the kids for half an hour while you exercise – you can always return the favour. Or get a DVD and do something when they’ve gone to bed!
This is my favourite: “My boobs are too big!”
Admittedly, running might be a bit of a problem if you’re built like Katie Price! But there are loads of other activities to choose from. Try something that supports your weight, like swimming or cycling. A lot of that excess boobage may be fat that will reduce as you become slimmer.
The thing is, you can always find a reason not to exercise. Even I can do that some days. You’ll never regret exercising, but if you don’t you might wish you had in years to come. You don’t have to do it to Olympic standards!